Elia Saikaly
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Elia Saikaly is a Canadian social entrepreneur whose award-winning films, global adventures and dynamic public engagement initiatives inspire others to find their most meaningful life and spark positive change.

Whether he’s traveling with a nomadic tribe in the Sahara, climbing the world’s highest peaks, (four Everest expeditions and five of the Seven Summits) or communing with polar bears in the Far North -- Elia has proven himself to have the determination, stamina, skill, resourcefulness and vision required to meet the greatest of challenges both in front and behind the camera. He leverages the power of social media and technology to regularly inspire thousands of Canadian students into offline action through his non profit organization www.findinglife.ca.

Elia spends a lot of his time working with charitable organizations like the Ottawa Friends of Tibet, Childhaven International and Moving Mountains Trust. In 2009 he led an initiative with FindingLife to build a well in Nepal for children in need with the help of students across Eastern Ontario.

His most recent accomplishment was successfully leading a youth based initiative, The Garnier FindingLife Expedition to Africa, in an effort to build two classrooms for children in Kenya while educating thousands back home in Canada. More information on Elia can be found at: www.speakers.ca/saikaly_elia.html .

Entries by Elia Saikaly

How I Made a Time-Lapse Film of Mount Everest [VIDEO]

(5) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 8:13 AM

I'm honestly blown away at how many people have connected with my video, Everest -- Time Lapse Short Film. My goal was to bring to life the majestic beauty of the Himalayas and draw attention away from the negativity that has surrounded Everest in the past years. I wanted to...

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My Near-Death Experience at the Top of Mount Everest [PHOTOS]

(22) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 12:32 PM

It's 9 p.m. on May 20 and we've been in the death zone, the world above 8,000m, for just over five hours. Life is not meant to exist here. In the death zone, we are all transient beings. I lay in my sleeping bag with a new oxygen mask strapped...

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How to Become an Adventure Filmmaker

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 6:11 AM

Imagine being dressed in a down parka, ski goggles, down mitts, plastic boots, crampons and barely being able to stand on your own two feet because 90km/hr winds are attempting to blow you off the side of a 17,000 ft ridge. In that moment, you feel as though life is...

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How I Designed My Dream Life (and How You Can Too)

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 4:53 PM

This morning I rode shotgun in a helicopter and flew though the Himalayas. I trekked through the trails in the Solo-Khumbu, encountered yaks, donkeys, suspension bridges, porters, stunning mountains and beautiful children. I smiled at every man, woman and child I came across, captured the day's events with an arsenal...

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So You Want to Climb Mount Elbrus

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 7:10 AM

I'll never forget the day I was sitting in the airport lounge in Atlanta in 2008, on my way to Russia to climb the highest mountain in Europe, when I looked up at the monitor and read the headline "War erupts between Russia and Georgia".

My flight was...

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Finding Community in Peru

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 4:32 PM

Since my departure from Canada five days ago, I've flown from Lima to Cusco, met up and spent time with my friend's in Cusco, rented a 4x4, explored various remote regions in the Sacred Valley, developed the FindingLife 2014 student initiative, paragliding, mountain biking and canyoning were all part of...

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In the Travelling Life, Indecision Is Your Friend

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2012 | 8:30 AM

This is part one in a series of three about my trip to Peru.

Years ago, I felt a calling. It was more powerful than anything I had ever experienced in my life. In the eyes of those who could not understand, it was crazy, bold, borderline suicide, risky, financial...

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Why People Die on Everest (And How I Didn't)

(23) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 12:13 PM

When it comes to Everest, It is easy for all of us to judge and make conclusions at sea level, but without substantial evidence and a true understanding of the environment above the death zone, it's extremely difficult to make a fair analysis of the situation. The story of the...

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Are You Living Your Most Adventurous Life?

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 12:51 AM

At a time filled with New Year's resolutions, the pressure is on to be the best we can be. To achieve all that we dream. Whether losing a few pounds, getting that new job, training for that marathon or even climbing that mountain. Here are a few questions to ask...

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Want to Travel the World? Here's How.

(6) Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 6:06 AM

"Don't you hate seeing posts on Facebook of that guy posting all of his vacation pictures online? Like, how annoying? Is it because secretly you're wishing that it was you?"

Those were the words that came through my car's FM radio last week. It was an ad for a...

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The Summit of Cho Oyu, Part 2: Between Life and Death

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 9:56 AM

It's 1:00 a.m. and we still haven't left camp for the summit. The wind is violently shaking our little North Face tent at 7,100 metres above sea level. What happened to our perfect weather forecast? I'm currently breathing supplementary oxygen and I'm finding it challenging to see through the mask....

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Summiting Tibet's Mount Cho Oyu (Part I)

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 2:32 PM

The truth is that I've been sick ever since Kheiry left. After evacuating him from ABC (5,700 meters) I had to climb back through a storm, got lost in the middle of the night in snow up to my waist, nearly lost all sensation in my left foot and never...

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Not Without My Baby: Crossing the Tibetan Border

(3) Comments | Posted October 14, 2011 | 10:03 AM

Today I bore witness to a truly incredible sight: love in its most formidable and unconditional state. A fundamental response to survival that left me astounded and quite honestly purely dumbfounded. On one level, I felt extremely guilty for having captured this on video, yet in the same breath I...

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Tragedy High Above the Clouds

(4) Comments | Posted October 8, 2011 | 8:20 AM

It's been nearly 30 days since I left the comfort of my home in Ottawa. The plan was to trek through the Himalayas, climb a 6000M mountain in Nepal called Mt. Lobuche all in preparation for the ascent of the sixth highest mountain on Earth, Mt Cho Oyu in Tibet.

...
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Hardship Never-Ending

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 11:43 AM

As I watched the jeep drive away with my climbing partner Kheiry, Jeremie, Pema and Namgyal, it suddenly hit me: I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. The truth is this: While Kheiry was sick, I put myself second and failed to share the fact that I wasn't well and...

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Giving Up on a Dream to Save a Life

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2011 | 7:00 AM

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"It's over," I though to myself, and it hasn't even begun. The dream: The ascent of Mount Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world is crushed. I have watched my friend and climbing partner Kheiry suffer for far too long...

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Why Challenge Ourselves?

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 1:16 PM

It's that time of year again when uncertainty takes precedence over all that is routine, familiar and predictable. No matter how many times one embarks on a high altitude Himalayan expedition, the feeling of excitement and uneasiness never ceases to be anything less than overwhelming.

Am I strong enough?...

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Social Media Brings Youth to New Heights

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 9:00 AM

"In that moment, amongst the serenity of the high Himalaya, the crackle of a radio could be heard through the breast pocket of my down suit. I had completely lost myself in the moment at 8,800 metres above sea level , 50 metres from the highest point on Earth also...

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